Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vicious warrior of the week: AlexiusHoratius

Wikipedia's bravest warriors don't get any combat pay, but boy, do they get compensated in fake virtual medals. AlexiusHoratius, for example, is a "Veteran Editor IV," which apparently entitles him to display a picture of a crappy Medal of Honor knockoff on his user page. That is an honor which does not come by easily. How much keyboard war did he wage in order to earn that medal? A lot.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Brutal warrior of the week: David Fuchs

So David Fuchs mostly busies himself "writing and reviewing articles over at Featured Article Candidates, but" he also does "a smattering of Good article nominations and peer reviews." Sounds admirable, doesn't it? On WikiChecker, a good half of his Recent 500 Edits pie goes to article edits, and a much smaller proportion to User talk edits. However, it is quite telling that he prefers to respond to messages posted on his talk page on the other user's talk page. That frees up his user talk page to mostly only show messages by robots, like the WP:FILMS newsletter announcement. Quite clever, huh?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Myths about Wikipedia: It is more accurate than Britannica

Did you hear that a study in the scholarly journal Nature declared that Wikipedia is more accurate than Britannica? Take that, you British dullards!

Well, there are several problems with that declaration. For starters, the study was not really a study, it was a piece of journalism that did not go through the same rigors of peer review as other articles published in Nature.

But much more importantly, the "study" was RIGGED!!! In the sample of 50 scientific topics covered by both Britannica and Wikipedia, Jim Giles, the author of the "study" found that experts counted 162 errors in Wikipedia and 123 in Britannica. Now, I'm no mathematician, but I have the feeling that 162 is greater than 123. So how do you derive that Wikipedia "is more accurate" from those numbers? Easy, you downplay, explain away, or completely dismiss some of Wikipedia's errors so that you don't have to count them. That's exactly what the author of the "study" did.

By the same token, you exaggerate mistakes in Britannica. In the articles on the Acheulean industry, the expert consulted by Giles found ONLY ONE mistake in the Britannica article and SEVEN mistakes in the Wikipedia article. So if you count Britannica's one mistake as twenty mistakes, and discard six of Wikipedia's mistakes, then yeah, Wikipedia, while still not perfect, is more accurate than Britannica. That's a result that can be arrived at only by very careful manipulation of the data!

For much more details, go to Nicholas Carr's blog: http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2006/02/community_and_h.php

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vicious warrior of the week: Aaron Brenneman

The vast majority of brutal Wikipedia warriors make a very detailed and careful study of the politics of Votes for Deletion. However, I have so far only encountered one warrior willing to show some of the results of his research so openly: User:Aaron Brenneman, whose user subpage "Am I in a cabal?" is, contrary to what one would expect, a systematic study of the votes for deletion process when it comes to Wikipedia's coverage of middle schools and high schools. That's not the only one of his user subpages that demonstrates his careful study of the sacred deletion process. He could write a book on the subject if he wanted to.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dastardly warrior of the week: Butseriouslyfolks

But seriously, folks, this is delicious: User:Butseriouslyfolks blocked himself in 2007 for copyright violations. The guy is supposedly a copyright patroler, then unblocked himself. How can we take Wikipedia's alleged commitment to respecting copyrights if those charged with upholding that are clowning around, like a bunch of cops playing around with their guns? This is another case where it's better to laugh than to cry.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Brutal warrior of the week: Deacon of Pndapetzim

He might as well call himself Mxyzptlk. Gah, we're supposed to be impressed by your unpronounceable user name.

Take a look at his block log: It's always funny when admins do admin action war, such as when Stemonitis blocked Pndapetzim for edit warring, then Angusmcclellan comes along and unblocks Pndapetzim. Of course Stemonitis is an obvious Pndapetzim sock.